Catholic parish plays big part in small town’s revitalization project

A large parish in the Los Angeles County city of Santa Clarita is planning a multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion as part of a project to help redevelop a run down neighborhood.

The church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, is situated in the Santa Clarita community of Newhall, where, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the parish is “ground zero for an ambitious $20 million plan that will change the look of Lyons Avenue, vastly expand the growing church and dovetail with Santa Clarita’s plans to revitalize downtown Newhall.” 

“More than $4 million has been raised or pledged for the purpose, organizers said,” the newspaper reported on Dec. 31. ”A Mission Revival architecture style has been chosen for the seven-phase, two-year project, reminiscent of the California Mission look.”

“The church has been slowly purchasing residential parcels adjacent to its current site to use as part of the plan,” the Signal reported. “Six homes on the west side of Arcadia Street are currently being rented but will eventually be demolished to make room for the new church site and the added parking.”

“We really want to be a good neighbor for the city’s overall plan for the Lyons (Avenue) Corridor,” the newspaper quoted Our Lady of Perpetual Help pastor Msgr. Richard Martini as saying. “We would like to be one of the key architectural pieces and a ‘kickoff’ for this development.”

The ambitious multi-phase plan is posted on the parish’s website under the title “On the Way.” Work on the first phase — a new pastoral center — could begin as soon as Jan. 30, according to the website. Other plans include a new church, a new rectory, and a new parish hall.

The existing parish, situated about 40 miles north of Los Angeles, has more than 7000 registered families, according to the website, and the parish grounds feature a meeting hall, a conference center, offices and a grade school.

The parish website features architectural drawings of how all of the church’s facilities will be renovated under the plan. To see them, Click Here.



Posted Monday, January 02, 2012 6:56 AM By JLS
Less than $600 per registered family!

Posted Monday, January 02, 2012 8:06 AM By Camille
I wonder if this is a part of some Smart Growth, communitarian plan to utilize the church as a center for community services? Hope there will be a follow up report down the line.

Posted Monday, January 02, 2012 9:12 AM By JLS
It’s the fallback position when religion fails due to betrayal.

Posted Monday, January 02, 2012 11:17 AM By Catherine
Yes Camile, you can either do quite a bit of God’s holy work, or you can do quite a bit of evil damage under the trappings of a Mission revival setting. Let us all pray that there will be no *gatherings* or conferences on “Intersectionality” linking more Immigration/Homosexual activism.

Posted Monday, January 02, 2012 6:52 PM By MacDonald
Just checked out their website, plus the online map of that area, and it looks like a GREAT expansion for the Catholic parish — if they can raise the money. They must have a lot of families, and I applaud the people of OLPH for moving ahead to take over the (mostly) vacant property that will now house a larger, beautiful church, plus more parking for the faithful coming to Mass. Currently, it looks like folks have to trek through some back alley to get from the church to the religious ed center, and this new move will connect everything much better. I wish them well, and am happy to see that their parish is growing! (As for the comment about homosexual immigrants, at 11:17 a.m., it baffles me. Thank God.)

Posted Monday, January 02, 2012 11:41 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Will this be a Church in the “Round”? Where will the Tabernacle be placed? Will there be kneelers and an Altar Rail? God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher